Hayden Tyrone POULTER - 15/06/2016
Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002
Hayden Tyrone POULTER
Hearing: 15 June 2016 via AVL from NZPB Head Office, (withheld) to
Members of the Board:
Hon. JW Gendall QC – Panel Convenor
Dr J Skipworth
Mr L Comer
Ms T Williams-Blyth
DECISION OF THE BOARD
1. Hayden Poulter is serving life sentences imposed on 4 September 1997 for three crimes of murder with concurrent terms for one of attempted murder and one crime of rape. His crimes occurred over a successive weekend in the month of October 1996 and involved appalling violent criminal actions. Mr Poulter was then using LSD and other drugs; had no mental illness and says that the daily use of drugs led him to offend in such a grievous way.
2. His parole eligibility date was 29 October 2011 and he was last seen by the Board on 12 August 2015.
3. He had completed rehabilitation programmes and was in Internal Self-Care, had available accommodation and community support.
4. The Board, when declining parole, then said
“We accept the view that Mr Poulter needs to continue down the reintegration path that he is presently on. We support the recent development that will permit him to engage in shopping expeditions under escort and this continuation of reintegration activities. As indicated at the Board’s last decision, we do not see that as a short term project.”
5. The parole assessment report records that Mr Poulter has not had the opportunity to imbed the skills that he has learnt through external reintegration activities. His applications for Release-to-Work, escorted outings and shopping have been declined.
6. His counsel submits that he should be released because he has “done all he can to demonstrate that his risk is not undue” and that it is “not his fault that he is not able to implement the recommendations.”
7. Counsel nevertheless accepts and submitted that reintegration measures need to be gradual.
8. Community Probation does not support Mr Poulter’s release at present because there are essential reintegration activities necessary, and to progress slowly, given that he has been incarcerated for nearly 20 years. Whilst the counsel submits that he is not an undue risk because he is assessed by the psychologist as “moderate to low risk of violent and sexual offending”.
9. As High Court dicta has made clear low or moderate risk is not the same as “no risk”.
10. The difficulty is Mr Poulter’s current plan has not been tested outside prison and it is accepted that he needs to progress gradually towards reintegration into the community.
11. The Board has been recently advised that it is not the case that prisoners such as Mr Poulter will never be afforded the opportunity of reintegration activities in the community.
12. Whether or not Mr Poulter receives approval from the direction or decision of the advisory panel and the prison director is entirely a matter for prison management, but we would support some positive action to assist him.
13. However, until he has been able to demonstrate across various settings that the skills he should have learnt can be adequately and appropriately displayed in our judgment he remains an undue risk to the safety of the community and, as such, is not able to be released on parole.
14. As the psychologist says, his current plan has naturally not been tested outside prison and he needs gradual progress towards reintegration.
15. For the present he does not meet the statutory criteria that enables him to be released on parole and accordingly it is declined. He will be seen again in the week commencing 15 May 2017.
16. He and his counsel will be aware of the statutory provisions which relate to a possible earlier hearing.
Hon. JW Gendall QC